Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sri Aurobindo was the first to be baffled by his own experience

The Buddha on Meditation & States of Consciousness, Part I, by Daniel Goleman by rjon on November 20, 2006 06:06PM (PST)
As Suzuki (1958) points out, in every religion it has been the core experience of an altered state which has preceded and been foundation for the subsequent structures of institution and theology. Too often it is the latter that have survived rather than the former; thus the modern crisis of the established churches might be seen in terms of the disappearance in our age of personally experienced transcendental states, the "living spirit" which is the common base of all religions. Still, for each being who enters these staes without a guide, it is as though he were discoverng them for all the world for the first time. A biographer of Sri Aurobindo, for example, notes (Satprem, 1970, p. 256):
"One may imagine that Sri Aurobindo was the first to be baffled by his own experience and that it took him some years to understand exactly what had happened. We have described the ... experience ... as though the stages had been linked very carefully, each with its explanatory label, but the explanations came long afterwards, at that moment he had no guiding landmarks."
The file attached below, titled "The Buddha on Meditation & States of Consciousness-Part I," was an important early influence for me in my personal sadhana. I got to know its author, Daniel Goleman, during my graduate studies at Harvard, when he was a member of Gary Swartz's team in the Psychology Department in William James Hall, one of the first groups in US academia officially studying the neurophysiological correlates of meditative states. by rjon on Mon 20 Nov 2006 06:06 PM PST Permanent Link

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